Tone Up, Toronto!

Stretches To Correct Rounded Shoulders

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Camel Pose. Photo Credit: Ann Harkness

Camel Pose. Photo Credit: Ann Harkness

When you sit at a computer all day, it takes a toll on your body. Your shoulders round, your head comes forward (putting a huge strain on your neck, which can lead to increased headaches), and your core muscles weaken. Poor posture can also impact the quality of your breathing, which can lead to increased fatigue. These stretches, if practiced daily, can help to reverse your muscle imbalances and poor posture, but keep in mind that they are not an overnight fix and it may take some time before you begin to see results.

The Doorframe Lean

Place your hands at shoulder height on the doorframe and lean ever-so-slightly into the room you are about to enter. Hold this stretch for thirty seconds at a time.

Bridge Pose

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Inhale and lift your hips as high off the floor as you can. Draw your shoulder blades down and together as you clasp you hands together behind your back. Hold this pose for thirty seconds or more.

Back Bound Hand Pose

Bend your left arm behind your back and squeeze your shoulder blades together as you bend your right arm behind you and grab your left elbow with your right hand (and your right elbow with your left hand). Keep moving your shoulder blades down and together for thirty seconds.

Cow Face Pose

Bend your left arm behind your back and slide your left hand as high as you can. Stretch your right arm over your right shoulder and grab ahold of your left hand (use a band or rope if you cannot quite reach). Keep your chest lifted and your shoulders down throughout the stretch. Try to hold the stretch for at least thirty seconds and then repeat on the other side.

Camel Pose

Kneel on the floor with your legs hip width apart. Raise your hands above your head and bend back as far as you can. If you cannot touch the floor (which most beginners cannot), then put a chair behind you and hold onto that. Lift your chest and breathe deeply for thirty seconds. Come out of this pose slowly.

Baby Cobra Pose

Lie down on your stomach with your hands on the floor on either side of your chest. Push up as far as you comfortably can and breathe deeply for thirty seconds before slowly lowering down.

Shoulder Squeeze

Clasp your hands behind your back and raise your arms as far as you can while squeezing your shoulder blades together.

Shoulder Circles

Clasp your left shoulder with your left hands and your right shoulder with your right hand and circles your arms forward thirty times and back thirty times.

Another solution may be to buy a bolster (which can be purchased at many fitness stores). This long, firm, cylinder is perfect for lying on for a minute or two at a time. It allows gravity to draw your shoulders back. For best results, lie down with your arms facing up as though you were a cactus.

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